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Angels snag Hi-10 championship

REED OISTAD fields a one-hopper from his shortstop position Friday against visiting Bluffton during the Hi-10 League playoffs. The Angels won their last four playoff games to seal the Hi-10 championship.1 / 3
Brock Johnson pitches against Bluffton Friday evening at Washington Ballpark. Johnson collected the win after tossing five innings and striking out seven.2 / 3
Phil Kirchner slugs a homer Friday against Bluffton.3 / 3

Although the Detroit Lakes Angels took a less than direct path through the Hi-10 League playoffs, the result was still the same -- champions.

A flurry of strong offense, capped by solid pitching, keyed the Angels' final three wins in the playoffs, after they suffered a 5-0 loss to Bertha in the second round.

DL exacted revenge on the Blazers Sunday in the league championship game, as the Angels scored six runs in the final three innings to tip the scale of victory to them 10-7.

In the last three playoff games, the Angels had a combined 33 hits to pace their first Hi-10 championship since 2008.

"It was a good time to start hitting the ball," said DL co-manager and leading hitter Phil Kirchner. "This is the time of year you need to be clicking on all cylinders."

The Angels will be making their first region appearance since 2008. They will open Regional play in New York Mills Friday at 8 p.m. against the Nimrod Gnats.

The Angels have a 14-5 Hi-10 record and a 26-12 record overall.

The match-up with the Gnats will be the third time the teams have played, all games have been in the Region tournament.

In 2007, The Angels won by a 12-0 score in seven innings in the second round of the tournament.

Tony Meech, an Angel draftee from New York Mills, pitched a complete-game two-hitter. Offensively the Angels had 11 hits, two each by Terry Haus and Chris Sieling.

In 2008, the Angels defeated the Gnats 10-0 in eight innings. Matt Olson threw a five-hitter.

The Angels had 13 hits in the game, Chris Engberg was 3-4, Taylor Fuhs and Olson were 2-4, Noah Johnson was 2-3 and Nick Omberg was 2-5.

Omberg and Olson had homers in the game, which was played in Menahga, as Omberg finished with five RBIs.

The Angels will have a different look this year against the Gnats as only two starters in Kirchner and Fuhs are still left from the 2008 match-up.

Bryan Buhr, who was a reserve fielder and one of the Angels pitchers in 2007 and 2008 was 1-2 in the two games with an RBI against the Gnats.

Matt Huberty was in his first year with the Angels in 2008 and did not play against the Gnats. Mark Jorgenson is the only other player left from the 2008 Angels team.

With a win against the Gnats the Angels will play the winner of the Miltona/Bluffton match-up, with a loss the Angels will play the loser of Miltona/Bluffton.

The Angels will be playing all of their Region tournament games in New York Mills.

"I feel we are clicking at the right time," Kirchner said. "We have four pitchers with an ERA under 3.00 and we are hitting the ball well. Now, we need to play better defense."

Brock Johnson will start on the mound for the Angels against Nimrod. DL also drafted Perham lefty Brad Ellingson as their Hi-10 draftee.

It was a roller-coaster of a championship game in Bertha Sunday, as three lead changes occurred in the final three innings.

DL landed a 5-3 advantage in the seventh inning, but the Blazers scored three runs in the bottom half of the frame for the 6-5 margin.

But the Angels regained the momentum with two more runs in the eighth, but Bertha came back to tie the game with one run.

But a three-run ninth inning was more than enough to secure the title and game as DL won 10-7.

Offensively, the Angels only had seven hits. They included doubles by Chris Gilson and Mark Gulseth and a two-run triple by Kirchner.

Bryan Buhr had two singles, while Reed Oistad and Jon Tolbert also collected singles.

Doug Dickey tied his own team record with five walks in the game, as the Angels took advantage of 12 walks and five hit batters in the win.

Trevor Tapped starting the game and pitched into the seventh, where Gulseth relieved and picked up the win. Oistad collected the save in the ninth.

DL's bats paced a 10-4 win over Wadena-Deer Creek Saturday in Deer Creek, as the Angels cracked out 16 hits.

They built an 8-0 lead after three innings, as Gilson cruised on the mound for the win with the complete-game victory, allowing seven hits and one earned run off of five DL errors.

Dickey was 3-4 with a double, followed by Oistad going 3-5 with two RBIs and Tappe going 3-4 with a trio of RBIs.

Tolbert and Gulseth added two hits apiece.

The Angels pounced on the Braves for four runs in the first two innings, then added four more runs in the fifth for an 8-0 advantage for the 9-3 win.

Brock Johnson pitched for the win with five innings of work and allowed five hits and had seven strikeouts.

Polejewski cleaned up by pitching the final four frames, keeping the Braves scoreless off of four hits.

Gilson led the way with three hits, an RBI and three runs scored.

Kirchner had a homer, while Fuhs collected two more hits.

Angel results

Hi-10 League playoffs -- Championship: Detroit Lakes at Bertha, Sunday, Aug. 31.

Angels 020 200 123 - 10 7 3

Blazers 000 210 310 - 7 10 2

Detroit Lakes


C. Gilson 4 2 1 1

T. Fuhs 4 3 0 0

P. Kirchner 4 1 1 3

M. Gulseth 4 0 1 1

N. Polejewski 0 1 0 0

D. Dickey 1 1 0 0

R. Oistad 5 0 1 1

B. Buhr 3 1 2 1

T. Manning 3 0 0 0

T. Tappe 0 1 0 0

J. Tolbert 4 0 1 1

Totals 32 10 7 8

3B: Kirchner...2B: Gilson, Gulseth.

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-k): DL - T. Tappe 6.1-4-5-5-6-3; Gulseth (WP) 1.2-4-2-1-0-3; Oistad (SV) 1-2-0-0-0-1.

Detroit Lakes at Wadena-Deer Creek, Saturday, July 30.

DL 035 000 110 - 10 16 5

WDC 000 100 102 - 4 7 2

Detroit Lakes


Gilson 5 1 1 0

Buhr 4 0 1 2

Fuhs 5 0 1 1

Gulseth 5 2 2 0

Dickey 4 2 3 0

Oistad 5 2 3 2

Tolbert 4 2 2 1

Manning 3 1 0 1

Polejewski 1 0 0 0

M. Klyve 1 0 0 0

Tappe 4 0 3 3

Totals 41 10 16 10

2B: Gulseth, Dickey, Tolbert.

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-k): DL -Gilson (WP) 9-7-4-1-2-4.

Bluffton at Detroit Lakes, Friday, July 29.

Braves 000 003 000 - 3 9 2

Angels 310 140 000 - 9 10 1

Detroit Lakes


Gilson 4 3 3 1

A. Fondrick 0 0 0 0

Fuhs 2 2 2 1

Kirchner 4 1 2 3

Klyve 0 0 0 0

Gulseth 4 1 1 3

Tolbert 0 0 0 0

Dickey 3 0 1 0

P. Doll 3 0 0 0

Manning 0 0 0 0

Oistad 4 1 1 1

Buhr 3 0 0 0

B. Johnson 0 0 0 0

Polejewski 0 0 0 0

Tappe 3 1 0 0

Totals 30 9 10 9

HR: Kirchner...2B: Gilson (2), Dickey.

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-k): DL - B. Johnson (WP) 5-5-3-2-2-7; Polejewski (SV) 4-4-0-0-1-4.

Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN.